3 Duke basketball players who should cash in by sticking around

Duke basketball (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball player who could cash in on a return: Trevor Keels

The Duke basketball program hasn’t seen a double-digit scorer return since Grayson Allen came back for his senior campaign in 2017-18.

Again, though, times are changing with the NIL factor now in full effect. And a guy like Trevor Keels, who finished third among 2021-22 Blue Devils in scoring with his 11.5 points per game as a freshman, may appreciate the benefits of starring on ESPN under first-year head honcho Jon Scheyer over a year potentially spent out of the limelight in the G League.

Sure, Keels at least loosely fits the mold of former Duke one-and-done and current Toronto Raptors starter Gary Trent Jr. — the type of gritty, sturdy, sly-defender two-guard many NBA franchises pine for these days.

That said, Keels’ shooting stroke beyond the arc isn’t as refined as Trent’s was at this stage.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting Keels was far from consistent this past season. For instance, he managed 19 points in the season-ending loss to UNC, but don’t forget he laid a goose egg in the Sweet 16.

Keels could improve on his 31.8 shooting percentage from 3-point land while trying to help guide the next batch of Blue Devils to the promised land. In doing so, he would increase the size of his eventual pro contract. And his NIL earnings next season could also surpass what he would have raked in by landing in the second round or late in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

With Trevor Keels, Jeremy Roach, and this next veteran still in town, logic says the 2022-23 Duke basketball squad would be in the running for the top spot in the Preseason AP Top 25 Poll…